IITSEC Presentation on Learning in Virtual Worlds

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Can learners improve their knowledge of accounting by using a 3D interactive model of the accounting equation in Second Life? Will students learn more working in small groups or alone? Will students experience greater anxiety reductions if they work in small groups or alone?


  • 1.Efficacy of Second Lifein Constructivist Learning Activities Irene T. Boland, Ph.D. PulseLearning

2. RoadmapWhy study learning in a 3D Future researchMUVE?Impact on TheorySecond LifeConstructivismParticipantsResearch questions3D ModelFindingsAdvice for improvementsISD for 3D environments2 3. Learning in a 3D MUVE? A Campus (Recruitment)AcademiaCorporateA Course (Learning)Government MilitaryAn Event(Community Building)3 4. Platform Examined: Second Life 4 5. Learning Theory: ConstructivismCognitive Constructivism One person Thinking Connecting to prior knowledgeSocial ConstructivismTwo or more peopleThinking and discussingCo-creating new knowledge 5 6. ParticipantsUniversity of Central FloridaAccounting classDr. Steven Hornik1st year students (18-23 years old)No prior SL experienceClass FormatLecture (face-to-face or recorded)LMS for assessmentSecond life optionalPre-researchVisited class site in SLWorked with 3D model in SL6 7. Research Question OneCan learners improve theirknowledge of accounting by using a3D interactive model of theaccounting equation in SecondLife? 7 8. Research Questions Two and ThreeWill students learn more working insmall groups or alone?Will students experience greateranxiety reductions if they work insmall groups or alone? 8 9. Controlling against extraneous variables Two Hour Window Pre-Test Learning Experience Post-Test Same Instructions Pre-Test Instructional Movies Practice Problems Post-Test Different Learning Experience group or solo 9 10. 3D model of the accounting equation Visual feedbackInstructionalnote card Textfeedback 10 11. Measuring LearningPercentage Learning GainsRound 1Round 2All Group Solo All GroupSolo (N=134) (n=42) (n=92)(N=163)(n=51)(n=112)4.66% 2.98% 5.43% 14.26% 7.35% 17.41%ResultsValidityLearning? YESRepresentative? YESLearn more in groups? NO Chance? YES/NO Null Hypotheses Rejected? YES/NO 11 12. Learner AnxietyConcept-Specific AnxietyScaleValidated instrument by Dr.Gene OettingProcessLearner self-rates anxietyrelated to concepts such asusing SL for accountingclass work.12 13. Measuring Anxiety Round 1 (N = 134)Round 2 (N = 163) Group (n = 42) Solo (n = 92) Group (n = 51) Solo (n = 112) Number -2.42 -4.08 -1.65 -2.79 Percent-5.76 -9.71 -3.93 -6.64Results ValidityAnxiety Reduced? YESRepresentative? YESReduced more in groups? NOChance? YES/NONull Hypotheses Rejected? YES/NO 13 14. Adverse Impacts57% of participants reported no adverse impactsTechnicalPersonal SL platform very slow, frozen Confusion (what should I do?) Computer crashes Disorientation (where am I?) Forced hardware upgrades Loneliness (the big empty) Slow client upgrades Dizziness (falling down)14 15. Participants Advice for Improvements 3D Accounting ModelGood Community Interaction Personal Adverse Impacts Bad SL Learning Curve More Videos of the ModelBetter Virtual Study Groups15 16. ISD for 3D Planning hardware current capabilities and required upgrades servers - concurrent users, streaming bandwidth, mirrors platform client installation, upgrades, compatibility Analysis technical skills computers, internet, 3D environments skills for this environment navigation, motor skills, communication Design environment, site within the environment learning plan for this content in/out of world, synch/asynch16 17. ISD for 3D, continued Development Learning materials Environment, manipulatives/models, stock avatars Synchronous scheduling Assessment administration Implementation Traditional communication channels to drive learners in world Evaluation Learner performance (native in-world, LMS outside) Learner reaction, recommendations for improvement (objective and open-ended) 17 18. Future researchRepeat the Current Study using: a) controlled and supervised environment b) established stock avatars c) different age groups d) different content e) participants with MUVE experience f) starting assessment of overall content mastery level (which maycontribute to high performance on pre-tests and lower anxietyoverall), and g) content Analysis of Chat Logs Recorded During a LearningExperience (difficulties encountered, strategies used by learners)18 19. Impact on Theory Constructivist Expectation learners in groups learn more Experiment Results learners perform better solo Why? Because it was in a MUVE? What next? Repeating the experiment in a highly controlled environment could narrow the possible list of explanations. Interviewing learners whose results indicated that working solo was advantageous may help identify the exact causes of this and whether it relates to the use of the MUVE (novel experience) or other factors.19 20. Questions? 20